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Dogs can also suffer from weight gain in middle age

A UK canine health survey suggests that Labrador Retrievers can suffer from weight gain in middle age just like people,

October 2015

Three labrador retrievers on a wall

Labrador Retrievers gain an average of 0.9kg each year between the ages of one and four, putting them at risk of being overweight by the time they reach middle age.

Previous research suggests that, in the UK, Labrador Retrievers are the breed most likely to be overweight. The dogs are fully grown after 18 months and are regarded as being near middle age by the time they reach four.

This study assessed the activity levels and size of more than 4000 Kennel Club  registered Labrador Retrievers as they grew to the age of four. Researchers found that, on average, dogs were exercised for more than two hours each  day and that dogs that spent more time fetching, chasing and retrieving tended  to weigh less.

The findings are part of the Dogslife project led by the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute and funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, The Roslin Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. This project seeks to gain a greater insight into links between the Labradors' lifestyles and their health and wellbeing.

Dogslife is a  ground-breaking study of canine health, which is made possible thanks to  the incredible dedication of dog owners.

Dr Dylan ClementsRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute

The study was published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and can be found here: Dogslife: A cohort study of Labrador Retrievers in the UK